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Touched Echo Interactive Exhibit Uses Bone Conduction Technology

Touched Echo Interactive Exhibit (Images courtesy

By Andrew Liszewski

Most large museums and art galleries today provide some kind of personal audio device that visitors can carry with them if they wish to learn more about the various exhibits on display. A similar idea has been implemented at the Brühl’s Terrace in Dresden, Germany, but instead of having to wear headphones or hold some device to their ear, visitors simply need to rest their elbows on a metal rail and cover their ears with their hands. Using bone conduction technology (or what they call ‘Touched Echo’) the sounds of airplanes and explosions simulating the air raid that occurred on February 13, 1945 are transmitted from the metal rail through the visitor’s arms and directly into the inner ear. The sounds are completely inaudible to someone who isn’t touching the rail, and since the terrace is located outside, the bone conduction system is a perfect solution because it’s completely weatherproof. I’ve also included a video that demonstrates how the system is used and what the simulated air raid sounds like.

[ Interactive Exhibits, Touched Echo ] VIA [ NOTCOT.ORG ]

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  • Anonymous

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  • Anonymous

    I’ve got some Questions!

    That seems awesome, but wouldn’t the sounds be different to different people?
    Is there a lot of interference?
    And say I had no hands, do I simply put my head up against the rails?

  • Jim

    To poster above:
    The difference that people would hear would vary according to clothing, tissue composition (muscle to fat ratio) and how well they contacted the rail and their ears. Putting you head on the rail would work. That’s how you can tell how far away a train is from you.

  • Fat Elbow

    What if I have very fat elbows? Could my elbow bone get close enough to the rail to conduct sound?

  • Anonymous

    to fat elbow…….. lost some weight tuby :3
    lol im sorry just messin with ya 😛

  • Golden-brown K Squeeze

    I have pictures of myself standing right there last April while on vacation and those things were NOT there. I am SO bummed that I missed it!


  • Anonymous

    ah! I’d love to try these… I’ve been playing around with some bone conductive earpieces recently for a project, and actually, I think you should be able to very very very clearly hear everything if you just rest your jaw on the railing, and use your fingers to plug your ears. I’d try that if I had the chance to visit this 😉 I liked the designer’s intent of mimicking a shielding position should one really face an air raid. cheers!

  • Bosco

    if you had no hands you would put your elbows on the rails, if you DID have hands you would put your elbows on the rails. IF you had reading comprehension problems you’d ask stupid questions while thinking you were having a deep thought. But suppose you had really wanted to ask “what if I had no arms.” Then you could not balance when you tried to walk so you would approach the rail in a wheelchair. Which is just the right height to stick your head up someone’s arse and use their elbows.

  • KOri

    All those people look like theyre contemplating suicide :S

  • mugwumpman

    Great idea, and commemoration!
    Surely this could be put to more use though, for e.g. tourist information about the area? You could have a section of railing for English commentary, a section for French etc.
    That'd be really useful and cool.

  • monkeyspoon

    that would be the most awesome thing if the audio was also binaural.

    very freaky

  • Escoofield

    Hahahahhaha that is cool 🙂

    Escoofield –

    Have Fun!

  • StupidAmerican

    There is so much cool stuff out there. Too bad they do not want you to know about this stuff in the states.

  • Scott

    Freakin' love it!

  • joryoh

    This is a great idea!
    you can do the same thing with a tuning fork from a guitar. Just get the fork ringing and touch the ball-end to your clenched jaw.
    I've been doing this for years, and to see the concept applied to this kind of technology is brilliant!


    very very cool thing ..
    I wonder how clear the sound is, and if you can use this method for any sound ..

  • ShopLowes_NOW

    For fucks sake. “Bone Conduction Technology”? Yeah, BCT, for short. Because you know, holding your arms on a fucking rail is kinda like putting a shell up to your ear at the beach … the two are pretty much exactly the same.

    Oh, how post-modern of me.

    If I wanted to hear the sounds of falling bombs I'd join the military.

  • Jenny

    That sounds cool.! Talk about touch sensitive…did everyone hear about this plant that MOVES when you Tickle It. This is NO joke. It's called the TickleMe Plant. I saw it at my friends house and now Im growing my own indoors. The leaves instantly fold and even the branches sway when Tickled! I found it on line at

  • a

    That latin chick is fit.

  • a

    That latin chick is fit.

  • Tips Photo

    Thanks for the post.

  • steve-o

    I am curious what transducers were used? there are several ones like “whispering windows' that might work for this. did you have to make your own?

  • steve-o

    I am curious what transducers were used? there are several ones like “whispering windows' that might work for this. did you have to make your own?

  • Mai Mourad

    to shoplowers: dude that's a total different thing you're talking about. BCT transfers electric impulses to mechanical ones, where pre-registered sound is heard directly through the bone, even people with impaired hearing can listen to, and has a high degree of clarity. the sea-shell only reflects ambient noise, that has nothing to do with the ocean. try putting a cup close to your ear 😉

  • Eli Trachtenberg

    Holding a shell up to your ear: The noise you hear is the air reverberating through the spirals of the shell.

    BCT: Sending sound waves using rails/your body as a conductor instead of air, and sending it at the right frequency and amplitude for it to sound normal by the time it reaches your ears.

    Yeah, not exactly the same.

  • Marybeth

    anyone know how i can build one of these? seriously – need to find someone for a real project!!